Thursday, October 14, 2010

Survey of Instructional Development Models: Nieveen Model

I couldn't find a decent image of the representation of this model so I tried to throw together a quick and dirty version and get it on the web in case anyone like me needed it out there:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fostering Skill Development Outcomes (FSDO)

By Alexander Romiszowski

Notes and Insights:

Knowledge is a go or no go sort of a thing. Either you have it or you don't.
Skill develops, it is a spectrum of learning, practice, and experience.

If you were to attempt to combine behaviorism and cognitivism in a skill development model then the result would be similar to the Four-Stage Performance Cycle:
Start with STIMULUS which goes to the PERFORMER who then goes through a PERCEPTION, RECALL, PLAN, (cognitive) PERFORM process which results in a RESPONSE.

How does this relate to the First Principles of Instruction:

FSDO Stages

Stage 1 acquire knowledge of what should be done (this could involve activation but it isn't explicit). This would also be part of demonstration I think.
Stage 2 executing the actions in a step-by-step manner (This is application)
Stage 3 transferring control from the eyes to other senses (Continued application)
Stage 4 automatize the skill (Continued application)
Stage 5 generalize the skill (Integrate)

Practice = apply: SKO would say use a whole task method to learn integrated coordinated activities and progressive parts method if the task is a sequence of relatively independent actions.

Productive skills align well with these principles: using problem-based learning.

Learning and Instruction Theories

The TIP database has a summary of learning and teaching theories. I dug into a few to see what it had to say:

Anchored Instruction
(John Bransford & the CTGV)

This concept encourages students and teachers to pose and solve complex, realistic problems using interactive video tools. "The video materials serve as "anchors" (macro-contexts) for all subsequent learning and instruction. As explained by CTGV (1993, p52): "The design of these anchors was quite different from the design of videos that were typically used in education...our goal was to create interesting, realistic contexts that encouraged the active construction of knowledge by learners. Our anchors were stories rather than lectures and were designed to be explored by students and teachers. " The use of interactive videodisc technology makes it possible for students to easily explore the content." (TIP)

Anchored instruction is closely related to the situated learning framework (see CTGV, 1990, 1993) and also to the Cognitive Flexibility theory in its emphasis on the use of technology-based learning.
It seems to me that this is a similar approach to PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING which I feel is very effective, particularly when the learner has at least some idea or foundation for the discipline. In this case it may be referred to as CONTEXT-BASED LEARNING where the context provides an anchor for the instruction. Medical schools are a great example of this type of instruction where they present patients (context/problem) and the students work together to solve the problem. However what anchored instruction seems to add is the ability to do this through the medium of video.
Cognitive Load Theory (J. Sweller)
"Short term memory is limited in the number of elements it can contain simultaneously, Sweller builds a theory that treats schemas, or combinations of elements, as the cognitive structures that make up an individual's knowledge base. (Sweller, 1988)

The contents of long term memory are "sophisticated structures that permit us to perceive, think, and solve problems," rather than a group of rote learned facts. These structures, known as schemas, are what permit us to treat multiple elements as a single element. They are the cognitive structures that make up the knowledge base (Sweller, 1988). Schemas are acquired over a lifetime of learning, and may have other schemas contained within themselves.

The difference between an expert and a novice is that a novice hasn't acquired the schemas of an expert. Learning requires a change in the schematic structures of long term memory and is demonstrated by performance that progresses from clumsy, error-prone, slow and difficult to smooth and effortless. The change in performance occurs because as the learner becomes increasingly familiar with the material, the cognitive characteristics associated with the material are altered so that it can be handled more efficiently by working memory.

From an instructional perspective, information contained in instructional material must first be processed by working memory. For schema acquisition to occur, instruction should be designed to reduce working memory load. Cognitive load theory is concerned with techniques for reducing working memory load in order to facilitate the changes in long term memory associated with schema acquisition.


Specific recommendations relative to the design of instructional material include:

1. Change problem solving methods to avoid means-ends approaches that impose a heavy working memory load, by using goal-free problems or worked examples. (At least early on in the learning process when there is not a lot of schema built up)

2. Eliminate the working memory load associated with having to mentally integrate several sources of information by physically integrating those sources of information.

3. Eliminate the working memory load associated with unnecessarily processing repetitive information by reducing redundancy.

4. Increase working memory capacity by using auditory as well as visual information under conditions where both sources of information are essential (i.e. non-redundant) to understanding." (Based on the idea that working memory has two "channels" a phonetic and visual channel and when both are used you are less likely to overwhelm one of the channels hence more transfer of knowledge into long-term memory)

(Non-red text taken from TIP)

Conditions of Learning
(R. Gagne)

Different types or levels of learning:

"The significance of these classifications is that each different type requires different types of instruction. Gagne identifies five major categories of learning: verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills and attitudes.


1. Different instruction is required for different learning outcomes.

2. Events of learning operate on the learner in ways that constitute the conditions of learning.

3. The specific operations that constitute instructional events are different for each different type of learning outcome.

4. Learning hierarchies define what intellectual skills are to be learned and a sequence of instruction."


No comments.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ace the Face Chase

Today I reviewed my fact-learning tool with B. Wiley. I implemented his feedback and can't post it here in a table because I am HTML challenged. Anyway, here is a link to a site where you can see and download it:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Class Notes: My List

15 top principles I would want to have in a fact-learning tool:

a. Analysis drives design choices
i. Openness
b. Feedback
i. Matching
ii. Timing
iii. Certitude/Confidece
c. Spacing effect (review and time lag, sequencing is involved in this, prior knowledge=being able to personalize the Leitner box)
d. Maximize A.L.T.
e. ARCS (creative, fun, engaging, usable, delivery medium)
f. Managing Cognitive Load: Contiguity effect (stimuli that occur close together in time become associated to each other), Chunking (7 +/- 2), Dual coding (visual + text versus visual + audio: visual + audio is better) - avoid split attention

Pasted from

Learner as agent

Class Notes

Justin Johansen - Director of Independent Study: JustinJ at
Make sure you get experience in these areas:
Project management
Financial management
Business management
Education law - always be dealing with accessibility issues


Most useful classes are two assessment courses, evaluation course, basic IPT class (520).

○ Education officer at a brokerage firm. Runs strategy for education on investments.
○ Blackboard - international sales of support. Travels the world

Many organizations do not think about a lot of the following things:
○ What are learning objectives? Do you have an outcomes map?
○ Do you have learning outcomes? Are these learning outcomes well written? Do the assessments align? Do instructional activities support these?
○ What evidence will you accept that they have met the objectives?
○ What do you want them to do?
○ What advanced organizers have you used?
○ Prior knowledge?

Typically in a training experience the person who know the content and are charismatic become the trainers and they don't have instructional experience.

Jobs we end up in:
Project manager
Product manager
Training manager
Selling educational software is a good way to make a living for a Master's student.
User interface design
Instructional designer
Ed-tech software company or Ed-services (university of phoenix) and you'll put the puzzle together
Consulting (management consulting)

Have a PhD: they'll seek you out as a consultant.

Career: lifestyle is great, can pick up money consulting, online business selling outdoor gear.

Who have you worked with that trusts you to get it done. Caring and personality is huge. This is a team-leading endeavor. Need to make others successful. IF you are doing your job people will get promoted and leave or be lifelong companions.

Be really clear about the learning outcomes for the specific audience. What value do they need to get out of the course. Need to be very consumer minded.

Know what is out there and build an efficient learning process and decision flow for the learner. Gather resources and pick which ones are great and teach people how to use them. Connect people to resources.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Different categories and decisions we make as we go through the design process.

Instructional Strategy (constructivist, behaviorist, positivist)
Message Structure
Representation of the Message
Media-logic Structures

Specialized language based on the discipline (computer vs print, vs class)
Any decision made on one layer has a cascading effect on the others. Often times constraints will impact some of these layers and therefore all the other layers.

Each decision you make collapses the total number of possible decisions that you are capable of making.

Design is full of decisions. Layers is one way to look at the major decisions that need to be made in design and how they impact each other.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Multimedia and Time Notes

"According to dual-processing theory, students should remember more of the verbal material when it is presented as narration than when presented as text."

I wonder also what the impact is on having two senses being involved, hearing and seeing. Is there a synergy there and what would happen if you could add a third sense. I would guess this would help even more in retaining what is being seen heard and felt or tasted?

"The design of multimedia presentations should be guided by the goal of presenting relevant information using words and pictures and by the goal of presenting words and pictures in a way that fosters active cognitive processing in the learner."

So I interpret this as saying you can't overload the student with just the information but rather need to help them engage with the material so that there is some cognitive processing.

What's All the Fuss About Instructional Time?

"...instructional time allows for understanding, prediction, and control, thus making it a concept worthy of a great deal more attention than it is usually given in education and in educational research."

"To generalize, any proposal to change instructional materials or teaching practices in the classroom that does not affect allocated time, engaged time, the rate of success, or the alignment of tile curriculum with the outcome measure that is used to assess learning is likely not to affect student achievement."

Nine Facets
Allocated time: time for instruction (e.g. scheduled time, 300 hours a year in math)
Engaged time: time students pay attention to something w/instructional goal (attention)
Time-on-task: engaged time on particular learning tasks
Academic learning time: part of allocated time in a subject-matter area in which a student is engaged successfully in the activities or with the materials to which he or she is exposed, and in which those activities and materials are related to educational outcomes (allocated time, time-on-task, success rate)
Waiting time: waiting for instructional help time
Transition time: noninstructional time before and after an actviity
Aptitude: amount of time a student needs, under optimal conditions, to reach some criterion of learning
Perseverance: amount of time a student is willing to spend on learning a task or unit of instruction
Pace: amount of content covered during some time period

Figure 1.1
Carroll defined learning through time variables: Degree of learning = f Time spent learning / Time needed to learn

Figure 1.2 Visual representation of ALT model
Learning is a direct result of minutes accrued during ALT (part of allocated time during which a student is engaged with materials and activities in which a high level of success is attained, and in which the materials and activities are related to outcomes that are valued.)

ALT can help us understand instruction and what will impact it. STRUCTURING is an example of this.

"there may not be a more sensible example of "quality instruction" than the one derived from the ALT conception of learning. For example, on entering a classroom, an observer discovers that the students are attending to academic work related to the outcomes for that subject matter, and that the work is being successfully completed, and that enough time was allocated to that subject matter to be of some value to students of that particular age. These components of ALT are what every citizen and school board member wants to see when they enter the classroom." 2nd to last paragraph

The point here is that research, evaluation, audit, consultation, and policy analysis for school improvement each require the use of different instructional time variables for their different purposes.

For example, structuring by a teacher (announcing where students should be, what they should be doing, and what they are responsible for; giving directions; providing advance organizers; and so forth) helps students understand their responsibility in a learning task, increasing their perseverance and thus their academic engaged time (the measure of perseverance). Structuring also is a safeguard against students working on the wrong task, thus increasing the likelihood that what they work on is related to the outcomes that are likely to be assessed. And structuring is likely to increase success rate by reducing confusion about the learning task. Because three of the ALT factors could be affected by appropriate structuring behavior on the part of teachers, such teachers are likely to have higher levels of ALT.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spacing Effect Notes

Frank N. Dempster
Laments lack of use of spacing effect in education (compares US vs Russian text!)

Must bridge gap that spacing effect is useful in classroom learning: done!
1. Experiment with addition with third graders 1. twice a day for 5 days or 2. once a day for 10 days. (Pyle 1913)
2. Reading a passage repeated 5 minutes, 20 minutes, and 48 hours. More recall in 48 hours.
3. Instruction, where the objective has been the learning of science and mathematical
concepts. (mostly terms, arithmetical rules)
4. Vocabulary learning.

Why has it not been applied widely?
1) Ahistorical character of research (rebuttal: been known for a long time)
2) Some failures in school-like activities (rebuttal: been shown to apply)
3) Dearth of classroom demonstrations (MOST TROUBLING)
4) Limited knowledge of classroom practice
5) Incomplete understanding of the psychological bases of the spacing effect (Has received recent documentation_

Some studies have shown that the spacing effect has boundaries:
1. Immediate recall.
2. It has been found that massed practice often is
more efficient for certain simple, isolated skills (writing the products of number pairs as rapidly as possible)
3. Evidence from traditional learning research suggests that the spacing effect may not apply to preschool age children, although it does emerge
in a robust manner by age seven (Toppino & DiGeorge,
4. Two studies have shown that the spacing effect can be eliminated if paraphrased rather than verbatim versions of the repeated materials are used (Dellarosa
& Bourne, 1985; Glover & Corkill, 1987).
5. Studies with lag lengths that were too long.

Leitner system
I'd like to try it! How many boxes are ideal or does it depend on the task and the learner?

attention (A) gain learner's attention
relevance (R) perceived value to the learner
confidence (C) helping students establish positive expectancies for success but also being moderately challenged
satisfaction (S) positive feelings about one's accomplishments and learning experiences

Distributed Practice in Verbal Recall Tasks: A Review and Quantitative Synthesis
- When you match ISI (how much time between practices) with the retention interval (how long they need to remember it) then good things happen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Notes on memory and forgetting

We can only take in so many bits: input stream limitations.

Chunking can increase intake. (associations to other things and prior knowledge)

Review increases retention because the information becomes more integrated into the environment which memory reflects.

Memory mirrors the environment: so the frequency and recency(i.e. pattern of exposure) in the environment will be mapped to the memory. If it comes up frequently and recently then the memory will hold onto it, not forget it, and make it more accessible.

Take last 30 days, what would be the best pattern of exposure? Recency every other day 15 times each.

Every other day .5368
Pack it in up front then occasionally review .4975
Every 3 days .543
First five days then last 5 days .5137
First day then a week later then 5 days later then 5 days later then 4 then 3 then 2 then 1 after that .558
Time 1:37

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Memory and Forgetting Notes

Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology

Fascinating chart that shows the number of intial perusals and then the time to learn them 24 hours later. 8 to 64 initial perusals cut the time in less than half 24 hours later.

"All sorts of ideas, if left to themselves, are gradually forgotten. This fact is generally known." Is this really true? Do we have some evidence for this?

"There is a clear and definite limit to the accuracy with which we can identify absolutely the magnitude of a unidimensional stimulus variable. I would propose to call this limit the span of absolute judgment, and I maintain that for unidimensional judgments this span is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of seven. We are not completely at the mercy of this limited span, however, because we have a variety of techniques for getting around it and increasing the accuracy of our judgments. The three most important of these devices are (a) to make relative rather than absolute judgments.; or, if that is not possible, (b) to increase the number of dimensions along which the stimuli can differ; or (c) to arrange the task in such a way that we make a sequence of several absolute judgments in a row."

This is interesting: ...the spacing between successive repetitions of the item affects how well the item is remembered.

They key is that there is someone on the other side. I have seen spaced reviews but really they are not as useful until the learner exercises their will to do it.

Retention and pratice: human memory mirrors, the structure that exists in the environment. I take this as if there is something reoccuring in the environment then it will be retained. Retention and practice laws are Power Laws. 80, 20. So there is a small amount of things that occur often that we remember but as occurrence decreases retention also goes way down.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Notes from Class

When a student has a misunderstanding you've got to correct it. Have to provide corrective feedback. Need to be clear and timely and follow principles but feedback needs to be there regardless of whether they decide to take it into consideration or not.

Formative Feedback: more than one third of the 607 cases (effect sizes), feedback interventions reduced performance.

Written feedback gives sense that it is less biased. Can control it better when you take the time to write it down.

Learn to filter research in our field. Check out the book Visible Learning

Make desicions based on decent evidence. Lots of slop published in our field. How does that go back to the idea of not trying to mirror the physics envy? Do studies meet the field's research standards? If so you can probably make good decisions if you have 4 or 5 studies that are decently conceived and carried out.

Agent psychology. There is a human on the other side with agency that greatly impacts learning because they will make the choices they'll want to.

Packaging really matters. Doubled edged: some things are packaged well but are junk so they make it out there. Some things have some good ideas and research and information but is packaged in such a way that you can never see it.

Feedback in CBI:
No single best solution but we have a flow chart that can help us which kind of feedback to use in CBI.

TED Talk Feb 2009 Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity
Creativity: show up and do your part! Then the inspiration will come. It is more than just us.

- Aren't you afraid you won't have success, after sucess aren't you afraid that you won't be able to top that last book.
- Why? What is it about creative ventures that make us question another person's emotional stability?
- Creativity and suffering are somehow linked together? Are we okay with that? How do you not let past successes haunt as being the apex of your life? Find a way to find a distance from the work you are doing and the reaction that they will create. Romans: Genius was a magical divine entity that lived in the walls of the artist and help shape their work. There is the distance between the work and the reaction. Protects you from too much success or failure. If success then you can't take all the credit. If failure then you just have a lame genius.
- Then we made the human the center of everything and they began to be called the genius. For 500 years she asserts that it is killing off our artists.
- Tom Waits musician.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feedback Fun

Computer-Based Instruction
Interesting concept of creating "adaptive" systems that can provide "tailor-made" feedback to the learner. I think that it can only go so far. Learner's thinking and reasoning differs quite a bit. I don't know that computers will ever be able to replace the feedback loop between a learner and an instructor.

For example, "Consequently, an incorrect answer may result from any of variety of factors, ranging from careless error to lack of comprehension. Depending on the cause of errors, the feedback for each of these types of responses will be utilized differently by the learner." How can a computer adapt to the point that it knows the reason for the incorrect answer and be able to tailor feedback to that. I admit for some students it could do this based on the distractors being used. I personally have seen some very helpful CBI feedback. In one case it provided information on more than one distractor and the actual answer. I learned even for some questions that I got right but I was tempted to choose another answer.

I fell asleep after page 4 of the Performance-related feedback. Tried to pick it back up after but it was difficult. I tried to find the positive and decided that the core message is good "Instruction is successful when we provide performance-related feedback" (page 7). However, there were a lot of issues with this article. I didn't get anything else out of it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


ADDIE: a nice point of reference for people to work from and perhaps a high-level framework or scaffolding for just about any project.

It seems to me that any respectable, common-sensed individual, who is tasked with designing some kind of instruction would end up following something similar to ADDIE without having ADDIE.

For example, without knowing the specifics of ADDIE, I jotted down some steps I would take to design instruction. My result was as follows:

Define the problem and it's surrounding factors
Plan a solution while continuously evaluating based on the need.
Develop and test (i.e. evaluate) the solution to see if it meets the needs. If needed or perhaps it is better said this way: when and as many times as needed, adjust the plan and redevelop.
Help get what you developed into place and functioning properly
Continously evaluate and adjust the solution as needed

As I look at other "models" from other fields (see below) I wonder if ADDIE is really all that different. If it is not then it would be problematic for a discipline, that is already being questioned as to whether it is a real discipline, to espouse it as a central piece. Not that having a "discipline" really matters in the end but if we feel IDT is helpful and good, which we do, then it would serve others to see it as a discipline.

Construction Management
Pre-Planning, Conceptual Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Drawings (or Contract Documents), and Construction Administration

Project Management (see green diagram)

Software Development
Waterfall model (see below)

Or the SDLC.
Market research
Gathering requirements for the proposed business solution
Analyzing the problem
Devising a plan or design for the software-based solution
Implementation (coding) of the software
Testing the software
Maintenance and bug fixing

I'm not saying that the above is as good or better than ADDIE but it leads to Molenda's comment:
"Anyone is free to impute whatever attributes they want to this label [ADDIE]…as they do." (Molenda, May/June 2003)

It is somewhat disturbing to me, yet somehow I am still okay with it, to read that "...ADDIE is a foundational
element of the field of IDT."

It is so high-level that it is difficult to say what it can really do or how it can help over another similar process for design. I come back to my point that it seems like each instructional designer has their own ADDIE. It may be a 10 step or 8 component process but each designer can fit those pieces into ADDIE and have a rationale discussion with others who are familiar with ADDIE and have a point of reference to work from. I think that is the main use. Not to down play that but if that really is the main use I don't know that there is great need to define it, analyze, and try to understand it in great detail...since those details are different for practically every designer.

ADDIE Dangers:
Analysis paralysis
Design - Who establishes the constraints and when do you know if you have a "good" design?
Development - Took us long enough to get here
Implement - "not created here" syndrome
Evaluate - Based on what?

A few other non-related side points:

I think you could still use ADDIE and have the following result which is an argument for the need for ADDIE.
"You could develop your instruction casually, starting, say, by drawing some diagrams of the automobile/submarine/forklift dashboard with all the dials and gauges. There's a high risk that you might discover later, however, that the diagram isn't really needed, or that it doesn't have just the right features or labels, or that it includes too much information for the learners. In short, it will cost time and effort to fix it."

My sister always used to listen to a song by Sarah McLachlan called Adia. As I read about ADDIE the first couple of lines of the song came to mind:

Sadly these words from a song that I heard constantly coming from my sister's room came to mind after I re-read my notes:
ADDIE I do believe I've failed you.
ADDIE I know I've let you down.

Isn't that Sarah McLachlaugn or someone like that?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Keys to a Good Dissertation

A dissertation should be 1) scholarly 2) significant and 3) original.

Be wary of horse-race research--pitting two methods or paradigms against each other, pulling the trigger, and seeing who wins. This is great for physics, biology and other types of research but in the sociology/educational realm positivists dont' like them because it is hard to control variables, qualitative folks don't like it because the situations aren't that clear cut to the point that you could assign a couple of factors to the study and get the information you need. Plus you miss a lot of important things from their perspective.

One important factor that you should analyze in doing research is your background--values, beliefs, theoretical grounding, etc. Then look at how that impacts your research question and the methods you will use.

Don't throw methods together udner minimal constraint.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Variables (Furlong ch 3 and 4)

3 Criteria to Establish Causation
1. Antecedence (timing, Variable A happens before variable B the effect so that it is a potential impact to create the effect.)

2. Systematic covariation (i.e., contiguity) – Cause and effect has to be “joined” or physical and temporal together-ness.

3. Eliminate other possible causes (How can you say you've ruled out everything? You can't; you can just do what you can and then make a convincing argument.)

Independent Variable (IV=cause) --> Dependent variable (DV=effect)
So 1) IV precedes the DV 2) They happen close to each other in time and space 3) other possible causes are eliminated then we can say that data support IV --> DV.

If you don't have the 3rd (eliminate other possible causes) then you can merely correlate your variables.

Concept of causation is philosophical (x causes y). You don't see the cause you measure things that indicate a cause.

Aristotle's 4 Causes
Material: substance something is made of (material exists)
Efficient: sequence of events across time (energy expended with material to put material into a for, pattern or essence)
Formal: pattern, form, or essence of something (blueprint for a chair)
Final: goal or purpose of something (know the object is for sitting)

These seem

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